Former Yale dean shows his passion for China as visit helps him find a new rhythm, Chen Nan reports.
It was a warm evening in August in 1995.
Robert Blocker was driving to Yale University after being appointed as the university's Henry and Lucy Moses Dean of Music.
He didn't expect to see many people, but a couple of students met him and showed him around.
"When I looked at the history of the university and how people invested in the school's art programs, I was humbled by the chance to work there. I could not wait for the next day to start my job," says Blocker in an interview with China Daily.
"And that thrill never changed because every day was different. My job as dean was not scheduled. I walked around the campus and students talked to me. I went to rehearsals by the students and teachers and got inspired by them," he adds.
After nearly three decades as the Henry and Lucy Moses Dean of Music at Yale, the 77-year-old retired from the position on Aug 31.
Also an accomplished pianist, he remains on the faculty as professor of piano at the music school, as well as professor of leadership strategies at Yale School of Management.
Among his immense contributions as dean, Blocker developed long-term relationships with fellow musicians in China.
From Oct 23 to Nov 9, he toured cities, including Shenzhen, Shanghai and Hangzhou, giving recitals and master classes.